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OSU receives Tree Campus USA award
Fri, March 16, 2012
By Aubrey Raupe
Oklahoma State University was officially designated a Tree Campus USA university this year for efforts in planting and maintaining trees and forestry on the OSU-Stillwater campus. Physical Plant Services and ECO-OSU were honored at the Oklahoma State Capital this week during the state’s 2012 Arbor Week Celebration for being awarded the designation.
OSU is one of only six college campuses in the state that is recognized as Tree Campus USA colleges and is one of four Oklahoma campuses that achieved the Tree Campus USA recognition in 2011.
The initiative to receive the Tree Campus USA award was started by ECO-OSU as a push to increase tree awareness and recognition on campus. The group is a sanctioned student organization with an environmental awareness action-oriented mission.
ECO-OSU and OSU Physical Plant Services partnered to achieve the desgnation. The goals of the partnership included organizing an annual student-led Arbor Day Celebration, purchasing GPS equipment for tracking and starting a tree inventory, and meeting the standards required to be awarded the Tree Campus USA recognition.
Brittney Melton, 2010-2011 ECO-OSU president, said the partnership with Physical Plant staff was instrumental in achieving ECO-OSU’s goal to receive the Tree Campus USA award.
“The whole physical plant was willing to help and was excited to see us excited about the project,” Melton said. “By partnering with them, we were able to also partner with the Foundation and all the other key players in the project.”
To receive Tree Campus USA status, OSU had to complete an application and qualify for consideration by meeting five standards, which included the formation of a campus tree advisory committee, campus tree care plan, campus tree program with dedicated annual expenditures, Arbor Day observance and a service learning project.
Steve Dobbs, OSU grounds and landscape manager, said working to achieve the Tree Campus USA award was a perfect fit with the university’s sustainability efforts.
“For us, it was a natural fit because of our leadership at the university, and one of the overall goals of the university’s sustainability efforts,” Dobbs said. “We are a strong agricultural university, so we need to be good stewards of our trees and natural urban forests.”
This year, Arbor Day and Campus Beautification Day will be celebrated on March 28 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The day will include several beautification projects across the OSU campus and a ceremony recognizing the efforts of students, faculty and staff to educate and provide information about the benefits of a natural forestry at OSU.